EF9 SHOW NOTES
Looking to play or download the episode? Click here…(EF9) S1-E7: I Feel Therefore I am: Capsized by the River Emotion (Season One, Episode Seven)
Can Rationality and Emotions Coexist?
The big question driving Episode EF9 is … Can rationality and emotions coexist? We tend to put people (and ourselves) into two groups: people who are rational, and people who are emotional. So what should you strive being? A rational or emotional person? Rationality is usually more encouraged as too many emotions can blur your mind. But is it that simple?
Emotions motivate even the most rational people. Thus, shutting down one side is like riding a bike with one leg. Although feelings and rationale do come in conflict — with your mind being the arena for the great fight — we need cohesion and acceptance of their collaborative value rather than picking sides in the fight. Only you can know the key to your personal cohesion and harmony. And how can you know anything without experiencing the conflict first?
DEDICATION: Episode EF9 is dedicated to William James, the so-called Father of American Psychology whose prolific work in the field of psychology was the result of, at least in part, his own personal emotional struggles. James hard work on untangling the emotional knot further helped us realize how much influence emotions have on our decisions. Emotions can cause chaos, but also greatness; sometimes, the value of the emotional ride is greater than the truth itself.
James began as a physician and later entered a medical school. After graduating, he suddenly decided not to pursue a career in medicine. Instead, he became a lecturer, initially of physiology and later moving to psychology. Already in his late forties, James published The Principles of Psychology and a decade later another great work, The Varieties of Religious Experience.
The road to William James becoming a name almost synonymous with American Psychology was likely not a pleasant one. Having constant troubles with illness and depression, it’s a small miracle that James managed to provide so much incredible work. Or perhaps it is because of those struggles and not in spite of them?
HOW WILLIAM JAMES INSPIRES EF9
Episode EF9’s protagonist isn’t a scientist like James. But careful listeners might find the connection between an unstable emotional state and the hardship of flowing against the stream, as this is something both the fictional character and James have in common.
James left behind important cornerstone work for the development of American psychology. Make sure to check out his lecture on his concept of the Sick Soul:
INSPIRATIONS: Carl Jung, one of the first scientists who managed to transfer Eastern ideas to Western society, who was also known for experimenting on himself to discover more about the world. David Hume, a famous philosopher who discovered the slave/slave owner relationship between us and emotions. Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist whose contributions helped us realize the “cold” factual side of emotions and why we have them. Episode EF9 was further inspired by Charles Stevenson, Paul Ekman, Klaus Rainer Scherer, René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes. For a full list of data and references please see Episode EF9 Show Notes.
Episode EF9 Summary
Elliott made a terrible mistake that’s been haunting him ever since. As if rafting through Class V rapids without a paddle, Elliott’s sanity is inches away from crashing into sharp rocks of guilt, shame and sadness. Where do we turn when it feels like our emotions have us hurtling out of control in dangerous waters? And is there any hope for recovery even once you’ve faced the reality of your situation head-on, in light of the power of these emotional currents?
We all have emotions, but what are they and do we need them? David Hume felt we are nothing more than slaves to our passions. And maybe so! Countless theories like the Hurrah/Boo Theory show that we’ll jump onto the emotional bandwagon of the masses almost instinctively. Why? To feel safe. But is there a way to break the secure chains of emotions? Is there a way to rationalize the irrational, reason the unreasonable and be ultimately be masters of our feelings?
“Emotion and Decision”, last viewed January 8, 2017, http://changingminds.org/explanations/emotions/emotion_decision.htm
Charles Stevenson, Ethics and Language, Yale University Press, 1960.
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, edited by David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2000
William James, The Will to Believe, Kindle Edition, 2010.
Any of these quotes make you think? If so, please support the show by sharing…
A today spent regretting about yesterday means forgetting to do anything about tomorrow. — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF9) Elliott did what any modern human would do when faced with boredom and regret — he decided to check what’s new on Twitter. — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF9) We often find ourselves with a lack of intelligence and an abundance of easily exploited emotions — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF9) It’s all the prior actions that precipitate the moment when your cup finally spills over — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF9) A person wallowing in grief is like a stranded fish that doesn’t feel like going back in the river called life–but grasping for oxygen isn’t much better. — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF9) It doesn’t matter if it’s a positive or a negative emotion; each plays a huge role in your decision making — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF9) Although we need emotions to make decisions, more than often they suck at the job. It’s up to us to tune them — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
What does it take for our tiny emotional raft to withstand the wild currents of anxiety, fear, and doubt? — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF9) Season One, Episode Seven: Emotions often make life harder; but without them, life would be as bland as rafting in a baby pool. But what if you could control the unpredictable emotional current? Would this mindset help you to even be rational in the strong undertow of heavy emotions?
(EF9) The Big Question driving Season One, Episode Seven: Can rationality and emotions coexist?
Season One: The journey begins as we embark on 11 episodes on big questions relating to MIND. What is the truth? Can we trust reason? Why do we have emotions? Does happiness define the good? What is identity? What is creativity?
(EF1) Trailer: The Evolve Faster Podcast (Extended) Trailer
(EF2) Intro: Life is a Near Death Experience: Welcome to The Evolve Faster Podcast
(EF3) S1-E1: All Aboard the Experience Machine: Destination…Unknown (Season One, Episode One)
(EF4) S1-E2: The Decapitation of Reason: A Skeptic’s Guide (Season One, Episode Two)
(EF5) S1-E3: The Truth is Clay in the Hands of a Sculptor (Season One, Episode Three)
(EF6) S1-E4: Information Mainlining and the Folly of Modern Wisdom (Season One, Episode Four)
(EF7) S1-E5: Sleight of Mind: The Black Magic of Rhetoric (Season One, Episode Five)
(EF8) S1-E6: Without a Compass: All Who Sail the Seas of Identity Are Not Lost (Season One, Episode Six)
(EF9) S1-E7: I Feel Therefore I am: Capsized by the River Emotion (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF10) S1-E8: The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering (Season One, Episode Eight)
(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future (Season One, Episode Nine)
(EF12) S1-E10: Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life (Season One, Episode Ten)
(EF13) S1-E11: The Bloody Fingerprint of Creativity (Season One, Episode Eleven)
(EF14) BTP: Behind the Evolve Faster Podcast - The Making of a Speculative Fiction Meets Philosophical Nonfiction Podcast
(EF15) AMA: Ask Me Anything: About Scott Ely and Evolving a Philosophy for Life
(EF16) BTP: On Creative Writing, Video Games and the Future of the Evolve Faster Podcast (About Antonio Rozich)
(EF17) BTP-EF3: What Am I Supposed To Do Free Will and Other Everyday Problems Behind the Podcast of Episode EF3
(EF18) AMA-EF3: The Mystical Allure of Converting to Buddhism and Speculating about Quantum Mechanics Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF19) BTP-EF4: Head Transplantation and Finding Inspiration for Speculative Fiction - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF4
(EF20) AMA-EF4: The Declining Value of Information and Taking Risks to Determine What is the Truth Ask Me Anything of Episode EF4
(EF21) BTP-EF5: Should Lying be Made Illegal and the Importance of Figuring Out Why You Believe What you Believe --Behind the Podcast of Episode EF5
(EF22) AMA-EF5: Defeating Fake News and Critical Thinking as the Superpower the World Needs Most Ask Me Anything of Episode EF5
(EF23) BTP-EF6: Scaling Mount Wisdom Without Suffocating Under an Avalanche of Ego Behind The Podcast of Episode EF6
(EF24) AMA-EF6: Is Less Really More When it Comes to the Pursuit of Wisdom or is Ignorance Bliss - Ask Me Anything of Episode EF6
(EF25) BTP-EF7: The Power of Propaganda and Rhetoric to Divide Us and the Quest for a Better World - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF7
(EF26) AMA-EF7: The Impossibility of Honest Politicians and Protecting Our Kids from The Most Insidious Fake News Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF27) BTP-EF8: Who are You and is it Possible to Upgrade Your Identity as an Adult? - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF8
(EF28) AMA-EF8: Drugs, Consciousness Manipulation and Cheating Your Way To a Better You - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF8
(EF29) BTP-EF9: Waging War Between Reason and Emotions and the Importance of Leaving Things Unresolved Behind the Podcast of Episode EF9
(EF30) AMA-EF9: Emotional Manipulation Tribalism and Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Think Before you Feel - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF9
(EF31) BTP-EF10: Dharma Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never-Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10
(EF32) AMA-EF10: Mind Control Through a Well Chosen Tattoo and the Unlikely Case of Being Happy Enough - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF33) BTP-EF11: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Creativity - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF11
(EF34) AMA-EF11: On Perfection, the AI Alignment Problem, and the Possibility of Quantum Leaps of Creativity - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF11
(EF35) BTP-EF12: Cryptocurrencies Gaming and Leveraging Failure to Help Us Define Who We Are - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF12
(EF36) AMA-EF12: Pyrrhic Victory and Finding the 10% of Your Mind that Defines Who You Are - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF12
(EF37) BTP-EF13: Where Creativity Comes From and How to Find Your Uniquely Bloody Fingerprint - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF13
(EF38) AMA-EF13: Flow, Creative Improvisation and Other Altered States of Consciousness Ask Me Anything for Episode EF13
(EF39) S2-E0: LIFE, UPGRADED: Welcome to Season Two of the Evolve Faster Podcast
(EF40) S2-E1: Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass
(EF41) S2-E2: Transhuman Fallibility: The Existential Risk of a Superhuman Future
(EF42) S2-E3: Civil Individualism: Loneliness Atop Mount Empowerment
(EF43) S2-E4: Evil Urges: The Fiery Duality of Human Nature
(EF44) S2-E5: Reality Unchained: Smashing the Icons of Social Delusion
(EF45) S2-E6: Weaving Society’s Web: Purpose in a Future Without Work
(EF46) S2-E7: Empathetic Distortion: Rigging the Scales of Justice
(EF47) S2-E8: Infinite Regress: Drawing Back The Veil of Perception
(EF48) S2-E9: Checkmate: A Child’s Guide to the Good Life
(EF49) S2-E10: The Domino Effect: The Momentum of an Unstoppable Future